Blistering heat in Vista Saturday morning didn’t stop more than 300 dedicated walkers from the American Cancer Society from showing up to support loved ones and friends affected by cancer.
Teams gathered at Rancho Minerva Middle School for the 24-hour relay and fundraiser honoring the lives of those who have battled cancer. Participants also celebrated the 100th birthday of the American Cancer Society.
"Someone is always on the track during the 24-hour relay because cancer never sleeps" said Cathy Johnston, chair of the event.
As a teacher at North Terrace Elementary in Oceanside, Johnston helped coordinate a cancer education program focusing on the importance of cancer research and prevention, promoting healthy habits like skin protection, a good diet and avoiding smoking. Students raised $2,500 by collecting dimes in empty water bottles across campus.
At the start of Saturday's Relay for Life event, $60,000 had already been raised by the relay's 24 participating teams - more than the $57,000 raised last year at the end of this same event.
By the time the event concludes Sunday morning, organizers hope to raise an additional $15,000.
Besides walking during the 24-hour event, the celebration includes plenty of other activities, from a free Jazzercise class to a performance from a hypnotist.
Those who would like to join in on the fun can visit Rancho Minerva Middle School, partake in the fundraising activities and donate to the American Cancer Society. The relay in Vista runs through 8 a.m. Sunday.
Donations can also be made through this website.
The American Cancer Society offers all kinds of resources for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. For answers and support, visit this website, or call (800) 277-2345.